This paper provides an analysis of five companies namely FreshDirect Inc., RBC Bank, FedEx Corp. Blackberry Inc., and HSBC Holdings Plc. The focus of the analysis is on the description of the industry within which the companies fall, their size, location, operations, system analysis, business goals, customers, market segment, collaborations (if any), changes, and e-transformation, particularly in the wake of technological dynamics that define the contemporary world. The companies selected in this paper operate on a global scale and are somewhat leading in the respective sectors in which they belong.
Established in 1999, FreshDirect Inc. is the biggest online food retailer that operates predominantly in New York City, Connecticut, Hoboken, and New Jersey among other markets. The company operates in over 48 states in the metropolitan regions of the major cities. It focuses on superior grocery products such as farm-fresh, kosher, organic, and locally grown foods. FreshDirect Inc.’s primary objective is to deliver such food products based on the schedules of its customers. The company falls under the grocery industry. As a result, the establishment makes custom banquets and foodstuffs for its diverse clientele.
The company has a workforce of over 2,000 employees who work competently to ensure that the production goals are accomplished sufficiently. It is one of the leading employers in the metropolitan regions of the United States of America. Employees work in diverse areas such as the bakeries, produce ripening, production zones, and storage rooms among others. Its infrastructure is established as a 300,000 square-foot center of operations in Long Island City.
FreshDirect Inc.’s current operations include the construction of new infrastructure that is expected to increase the revenue of the Long Island City by approximately 250 million dollars. The company is also planning to adopt a new management model rather than maintaining its old-fashioned online supermarkets (Laudon and Laudon 2013).
FreshDirect has a reputable IT framework that enables the management to control the operations of the company in areas such as inventory, billing, and logistics. The IT infrastructure is built on the SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) Software while its website is powered by the Weblogic platform of BEA Systems. Besides, the company has also integrated NetTracker into its online systems to create traffic for its website. The systems are interconnected to ensure that all units of the organization gain access to real-time information on customer orders, preferences, level of fruit ripeness, and logistics. Indeed, Laudon and Laudon (2013), confirms that the network of systems can handle up to over 18,000 concurrent online supermarket run sessions at peak times. The company’s e-transformation level is highly ranked.
The primary goal of the company is to offer home deliveries shortly. According to Laudon and Laudon (2013), home delivery is one of the segments that are developing considerably in the grocery industry. Indeed, customers are seeking an improved experience in the company. However, its online capability underpins the satisfaction of customer demands shortly.
Laudon and Laudon (2013) reveal that FreshDirect LLC has heavily invested in social networking since its business is online-based. Recent research indicated that the company had taken a fresh expansion approach to e-commerce. Social media marketing is the primary means through which the company markets its grocery products. It was the e-retailer to introduce a Popcart application with a view of boosting the level of the transaction. The online shopping tool significantly improves the consumer experience, especially where they have to make simultaneous and urgent orders. For instance, the tool has provisions for making a fast transaction with various ingredients from a vast range of choices (Laudon and Laudon, 2013).
Laudon Security Case Study
RBC is a Canadian bank under the financial services industry that has been in operation since 1864 founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It has its headquarters in Toronto Ontario Canada. By 2003, the bank had more than 60,000 employees having a strong market to serve over twelve million existing customers. The company’s worth by the year ending 2003 was $413 billion in assets. RBC bank embraced technology in its operations, having spent approximately $1.6 billion on it, in a bid to serve its wide customer base efficiently and with a high degree of efficacy. However, the company suffered a massive blow on May 31, 2004, when a technological computer error brought the bank’s multiple operations to a halt. The computer glitch adversely affected its loyal customers to a point of utter displeasure. The disaster happened when the bank’s CEO and management made wrong assumptions that the errors were to be rectified in a matter of a day and even traveled out of the country. It was until June 30 that customers had their transactions back running, after a month. The RBC’s management failed greatly in the manner in which it handled the crisis. The management should have appointed a public relations person to address the media and public with a view of reassuring the customers.
Currently, the company’s operations are not well incorporated. The management was not highly concerned with the bank’s crisis at hand when the CEO exited the country. The bank should have used the virtual space to create interactive relationships with its customers. The bank did not engage people in social media. The bank’s level of collaboration, in this case, was low as no third parties were involved in rectifying the technological hiccup that negatively affected their customers and the business as whole. In this regard it was operating in solitude, a reason why it probably took it unnecessarily too long to restore operations. There was neither collaboration nor social networking systems noted in the company in this case. However, the bank learned from its mistakes. Today, it embraces technology in most of its operations with a view of providing premium quality services to its esteemed and loyal customers who chose to remain loyal even after suffering displeasure from the events of 2004.
The customers were highly demanding to be addressed and reassured of the security of their money. Hackers seized the opportunity to steal from the clients’ accounts in the middle of frustration. RBC’s systems have not been shown to address the hackers’ attempt to con the customers. It was only coincidental that operations resumed before the day dawned before the hackers’ mission materialized. Given the PR system dysfunctional at the time, most of the customers feared infringement of their information by hackers. It should have damaged the bank’s reputation and lead to massive customer loss. Today, the bank prioritizes the security of customers (Laudon & Laudon, 2013).
The bank’s employees were 73,498 by the end of 2014, with a net income of $9.004 billion and assets totaling $940.550 billion. Being at the forefront of e-transformation, the firm has used the platform to enhance email and website fraud, and made online fraudulent reporting systems actively functional. It has taken rigorous security and technology safeguard measures to prevent a repeat of the 2004 security crisis. Through its website, the bank has outlined various strategic security goals where it provides cybersecurity awareness and guidelines on the usage of the mobile application. It also warns of fraudulent charities in the event of natural disasters such as the 2012 sandy hurricane and email defrauds among other risky and deceitful avenues that can lead to customer’s loss.
The FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. is an American company that offers international courier services. Founded by Fredrick W. Smith in 1971, its headquarters are based in Memphis Tennessee. The company offers both ground and air overnight package delivery services worldwide. It operates in 220 countries with an estimated number of 300,000 employees. The FedEx corp. operates through the following segments namely FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Services. It has a wide portfolio of transportation, e-commerce, and business services through companies competing collectively, operating independently but under single management, FedEx brand. Its global customers have a well-established and rock-solid attachment to its highly reputable brand. The company works in line with its original goal of ensuring efficiency in the distribution system for airfreight. It has made a remarkable achievement by this goal since it is the world’s preferred choice for delivery services.
By operating independently, the FedEx Company focuses exclusively on delivering excellent services to its differentiated market segment. This strategy eradicates time wastage and resources on problems relating to other brands. The FedEx Corporation operates in the shipping and delivery market whereby it offers classified courier services. The company’s initial operations targeted the domestic express delivery services market.
The company adopts tech-savvy equipment to streamline its shipping operations. It involves the use of overhead laser and six-sided charge-coupled device (CCD) scan technologies, hub conveyors electronically guide packages to the suitable destination chute, where they are transported to their specific destination terminals for local deliveries.
Besides Memphis International Airport is the largest in America, its future goals are to become its city. Being the economic engine for FedEx, the airport provides the best cargo solutions for its freight packages to its worldwide clients. FedEx acknowledges peoples’ need for fast access to ideas, goods, opportunities, and each other. In this regard, the company monitors emerging business trends, new market models, and trade patterns for its future growth (Laudon & Laudon, 2013).
The company’s future goals entail, entering the fastest growing economies such as Asian markets and enhancing environmental consciousness through its vision 2020 initiative that aims at offering more quality customer service at 20% lower carbon emissions. The demand for courier services continues to grow especially in the new markets where new income levels create the need for new products. The company also eyes adding zero-emission, all-electric trucks, and converting conventional trucks to hybrid-electric technology in line with electronic transformation.
According to the Chief Executive, as a global business, it ought to enhance involvement in the developing markets and, master the changes as they happen for a better knowledge of customer needs. As a result, FedEx Corp. is investing in technologies that increase the visibility of everything in motion that converts data into knowledgeable information. FedEx continually believes that any information concerning the package is just as vital as the package itself. The focus of the FedEx group is to provide a platform for other businesses to see and understand in real-time the need and method of responding to changing markets. The company’s operations have been based on e-business since the 1980s. In this regard, the FedEx group’s e-transformation is very high, from product development, operations, through tracking during shipment to customer confirmation. Its presence online is superb and enhances interactivity between, production, distribution, and consumption (Laudon & Laudon, 2013).
BlackBerry Limited is a leading manufacturer of wireless communication devices. The company deals with the designing production, and distribution of mobile device hardware. Besides, it develops software among other services for numerous wireless networks including email, phones, SMS messaging, internet, and intranet-based applications. Since its inception, the company has received numerous innovation awards for its tech-savvy innovations including the Blackberry wireless platform, handheld products, software development tools, and radio modems among many software and/or hardware merchandise around the world.
The company’s global customers range from individuals and small businesses to large-scale organizations. The company is the leading security provider in the communications and mobile money business (Mohanram, 2010). It offers security solutions to healthcare institutions and law firms among many other business organizations. The company runs the BlackBerry Enterprise Partner program that builds a collaborative association between the company and independent software vendors, corporate developers, value-added resellers, and managed mobility providers. Having numerous subsidiaries in many countries around the world, the company has employed more than 7,000 people. The company has undergone various management changes. At one point in its development, it adopted a dual-management structure where two CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie headed it. The company faces stringent competition from Apple Inc.’s iOS and Google’s Android Operating systems besides Microsoft’s Corp. Windows OS for mobile phones. According to the current Chief Executive Officer, the company is being restructured to regain its top position as an exceptional leader in technological innovation solutions in the world.
HSBC Holdings Plc.
HSBC is among the largest bank in the world offering both banking and financial services to over fifty-one million customers. Founded in 1865, HSBC headquarters are in London with over 61,000 offices in 73 countries and territories. According to CEO Stuart Gulliver, the bank serves a diverse range of customers from small enterprises to mid-market companies and large MNCs. It provides customers with diverse services and support for efficient business operations. (Rehman, 2012). Its products include private banking services to wealthy people and their families, commercial banking where it offers expertise start-ups to both small and large multinationals.
The demand for HSBC products and services grows annually with the bank targeting fast developing and emerging economies. The organization values corporate social responsibility. As a result, it has maintained a reputable history of environmental efficiency, sustainability, and community outreach programs such as its partnership with Earthwatch, WaterAid, and WWF that aim at providing water catchment areas and education to local communities. Over 1500 of its branches in England have been refurbished with a view of increasing its retail services (Rehman, 2012).
The branches have been rebranded as ‘stores’. This practice will serve as a marketing strategy since the institution seeks to open more banking areas. Also, there has been an inclusion of the HSBC Live, a radio station that has been dedicated to the bank by Immedia (a media company in Newbury, Berkshire). The bank acknowledges online presence since customers can access bank services via the HSBC website and support forums via social media that allow interaction between the bank, existing, and prospective customers. It has accounts on platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook among other leading social sites. HSBC is a high level of e-transformation. The company’s operating segments fall into six geographical regions namely Europe, Hong Kong, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and North Africa, North America, and Latin America. Its worldwide employees are currently 254,066.
The aforementioned companies have made remarkable achievements at the international business level. The journey to their success is based on diligence and awareness of their customers and business segments in which they operate. Customers have expressed a high level of attachment to the companies’ brands and have significantly influenced the way the companies have grown. In the three companies, customer demands are still growing given the rapid technological changes that contribute to the emergence of new customer spending trends. However, evidence shows that the companies are striving to identify such behaviors with a view of meeting the needs of their customers. Analysed companies have a global reputation for quality service and customer knowledge.
Laudon, K., & Laudon, J. (2013). Management Information Systems. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Mohanram, P. (2010). Case Study: Research in Motion. Web.
Rehman, S. (2012). E-Marketing Practices: An Empirical Investigation of HSBC and Jammu & Kashmir Bank. International Journal of Knowledge and Research in Management and E-Commerce, 2(2), 1-7.